There's no single right answer, but here's some basic analysis to consider:
1) The research suggests that stock picking strategies outperform their benchmark indices very rarely and that consistently doing so is unlikely. If you feel confident that you can do better than a passive ETF representing that same asset class, then you might prefer stocks.
2) Unsystematic (business) risk exists. This is basically the risks that may pertain to a single company instead of the market as a whole. Consider Enron, etc.....
If you don't believe your stockpicking can beat the market, then you may be better off spreading out your business risk exposure by owning an ETF with hundreds or thousands of companies in exchange for a management fee.
Adam C. Harding, CFP
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